House price growth slowed but remained steady throughout September

October 01, 2019

According to the latest figures, growth in the UK property market has dipped slightly as average values fell just below the previous month´s levels.

The Nationwide Housing Price Index for September suggested that annual house price growth simmered at just 0.2 per cent, and the average property value in the UK is currently sitting at £215,352.

Although London and the South East have seen the demand for housing decrease since the referendum, other regions around the UK are still seeing price increases – albeit at a more modest rate than previously seen.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist said: “This marks the tenth month in a row in which annual price growth has been below 1 per cent. Indicators of UK economic activity have been fairly volatile in recent quarters, but the underlying pace of growth appears to have slowed as a result of weaker global growth and an intensification of Brexit uncertainty.

“However, the slowdown has centred on business investment – household spending has been more resilient, supported by steady gains in employment and real earnings.”

“The underlying pace of housing market activity has remained broadly stable, with the number of mortgages approved for house purchase continuing within the fairly narrow range prevailing over the past two years.

“Healthy labour market conditions and low borrowing costs appear to be offsetting the drag from the uncertain economic outlook.”

Mike Scott, Chief Property Analyst of online estate agent Yopa has expressed concerns about the property market, stating his belief that the UK´s property market could potentially dip into negative territory during the last quarter of the year.

He added: “However, the economic fundamentals of low unemployment, rising wages, good mortgage availability and low mortgage interest rates are still strong, and we expect a rapid recovery to a more normal level of activity and price growth once the uncertainty is finally resolved.”

Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals is also feeling positive about the situation. He said: “When the extension of Brexit was announced there was a spike in activity in the market, which again reiterates the fact that it is uncertainty holding buyers back rather than a lack of interest.”

“Once activity starts to increase and buyer confidence returns, which it will, prices will start back on an upward trajectory.”

Commercial director of property lender MT Finance, Gareth Lewis, shares the belief that the current trajectory might not be as negative as it first seems.

He explained: “This is not Armageddon, but what we have seen for many months, which is property prices stabilising meaning a small increase in some areas and a small decrease in others.”

“The South East has been hardest hit, but if we cast our minds back to the period between 2013 and 2015, that was the area with the fastest period of growth, so it is a case of rebalancing and returning to a realistic growth pattern for what has been an overinflated area.”

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